CES 2013: 10 Smartphones That Stole The Show10:30 AM EST Wed. Jan. 09, 2013
The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show played host to eye-catching smartphones from a number of vendors, ranging from veteran Samsung to newcomer Lenovo. And while not all of them were at launched at the show, they all still managed to steal the spotlight.
Here are 10 standout smartphones from this year's CES.
Huawei ushered in a few new smartphones at this year's CES, including the Ascend Mate, an Android-based smartphone the company claims has more screen real estate than any other smartphone in the world.
According to Huawei, the Ascend Mate has an industry-leading screen-to-body ratio of 73 percent, which means emails are easier to read and videos are more enjoyable to watch. The screen itself measures 6.1 inches, has a 1,280 x 720 full HD display, and supports a technology called Magic Touch, which Huawei claims enhances its responsiveness ("even with gloves").
The Ascend Mate, which will launch next month in China, is powered by Huawei's own 1.5GHz processor and measures just 0.25 of an inch thick at its narrowest part.
Sony's new Xperia Z smartphone is the latest in the tech giant's Android-based line.
Set to launch globally in the first quarter, the Xperia Z is fueled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, includes a 13-megapixel camera and supports the latest 4G LTE networks. It also includes a few Sony-specific features that make it stand out from other new smartphones surfacing at this year's event. Among them is a tempered glass frame Sony claims makes the Xperia Z both dust- and water-resistant, along with a new feature called Bravia TV, which lets users transfer photos and videos from the Xperia Z to their TV by simply tapping it against the remote control.
The smartphone OS market today has become a two-horse race between Apple's iOS and Google's Android. But all of that may soon change if Canonical has its way.
The company at CES showed off a Google Nexus prototype running its Ubuntu software, a Linux-based open-source platform Canonical claims is found on 20 million desktop PCs today. The Ubuntu prototype phone isn't a final product, but it gave attendees a glimpse into what Canonical's smartphones will look like when they ultimately come to market.
The Ubuntu UI is navigated through a series of swipes similar to those you would use on a Windows Phone device. Also like Windows, Ubuntu is expected to be a hit among enterprise users, as it would allow information to be seamlessly shared across both PCs and mobile devices.
Surprisingly, another smartphone to capture CES attendees' attention this year again wasn't a finished product, but a prototype. Mozilla's prototype, to be exact.
The nonprofit organization showed off a smartphone running its upcoming Firefox OS (named after the Web browser it designed), slated to come out of development in the next few weeks. The new OS, which is based on HTML 5, has a simplistic UI and will first make its way into lower-end and entry-level phones. Other than that, Mozilla has been pretty mum on hardware specs and details, but hopefully there will be more to learn over the next few weeks.
Samsung's CES booth was jam-packed with attendees gushing over its latest and greatest smartphones. Among them was the new the ATIV Odyssey, Samsung's first Windows Phone 8 device to launch in the U.S.
In addition to being a rarity given Samsung's Android-dominated smartphone lineup, the new ATIV Odyssey has a 4-inch super AMOLED touch-screen display. It's fired up by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, has 8 GB of on-board storage and runs a 2,100 mAh battery. A 1.2-megapixel front-facing and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera are also included.
But it's the Windows software running on the new ATIV Oddsessy that speaks louder than its specs. As the world's largest smartphone maker, Samsung's investment in Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 OS could give the software giant the leverage it needs to face rivals Apple and Google head on.
HTC's Windows Phone 8X proved buzzworthy at this year's CES, with its colorful designs making it stand out from the crowd.
The 4.3-inch device runs Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8 OS and has a unique unibody design that makes it feel especially thin and light. The Windows Phone tiled UI pops inside the 8X's bright blue, red and yellow frames. Inside there is a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 16 GB of storage. The HTC Windows Phone 8X also includes a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, along with a built-in amplifier for top-notch sound quality, compliments of Beats Audio.
Huawei also used CES as a stage for unveiling its very first Windows Phone-based smartphone, the Ascend W1.
Set to launch this month in China and Russia, the Ascend W1 runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 OS and boasts a compact, 4-inch LCD screen with a 800 x 480 resolution. The device is fueled by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, along with a 1,950 mAh battery, which Huawei said delivers up to 19.6 days of standby time.
At first glance, the new Ascend Mate looks pretty similar to Nokia's flagship Windows smartphone, the Lumia 920, thanks to its assortment of colorful designs, including bright red and blue.
Lenovo has been steadily gaining share in the smartphone market over the past year, and the PC maker flaunted some of that progress at CES 2013.
Standing out in Lenovo's growing assortment of smartphones was the IdeaPhone K860, an Android-based device with a 5-inch full HD display. The K860, which is available now in China, is powered by a Samsung Exynos quad-core processor and has 16 GB of internal storage.
But what really sets Lenovo's K860 apart is its sleek design. Measuring in at just 0.37 of an inch thick, it feels barely there in your hand but still sturdy thanks to its nonslip, textured bank panels and grooved edges.
At first glance, the Motorola Razr i could be mistaken for any other Android smartphone on the CES show floor. But on the inside, it's a whole different breed.
The Motorola Razr i is one of a handful of smartphones on the market today to be powered by an Intel, rather than an ARM-based, processor. Specifically, it runs Intel's 2.0GHz Medfield Atom processor, which Motorola claims is so efficient it lets the Razr i's battery life outlast the iPhone 4S' by nearly 40 percent.
The Motorola Razr i was found at Intel's booth, along with a few other Atom-powered smartphones from manufacturers including Lenovo, Orange and ZTE.
Also at Intel's CES booth was a smartphone reference design running its new Atom Lexington Z2420 processor. The phone itself was mysteriously devoid of any brand name (although Intel said manufacturers would include Acer, Safaricom and Lava), but you could still get a feel for the new chip inside.
Lexington, which is aimed primarily at lower-end smartphones for emerging markets, runs up to 1.2GHz, includes Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology, and has what Intel calls "advanced imagining capabilities," such as a bursting mode that lets users capture up to seven pictures in just one second. Intel also says its new Lexington platform is optimized primarily for phones running Google's Android OS.